October 14, 2014
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all have a personal massage therapist to work out our sore and tired muscles whenever we needed them? For most people this just isn’t feasible. We need realistic options for self-massage and pain relief at the ready, which is why a massage ball, such as the one we offer at Pogamat, makes so much sense.
A massage ball allows you to work out those trigger points (aka “knots”) yourself in the comfort of your own home. It’s natural to have sore muscles and tight spots if you work out regularly, or any time that you over-exert yourself physically. Let’s say you helped a friend move and now your lower back is stiff from all the bending over and carrying boxes. This is where massage ball exercises will really come in handy.
To use a massage ball you simply use your body weight and roll over the ball where needed. You can move slightly (like side to side or in circles) or simply use sustained pressure in one spot until the muscle is relaxed. You’re in complete control when you practice massage ball exercises. If you find that something hurts a little too much, simply use less pressure on the ball.
Here are some great massage ball exercises you can do at home to work out some common trouble spots. Keep in mind that some pain or discomfort is normal when using a massage ball, especially on those pesky trigger points. But it should be a “good hurt” and if you find yourself in great pain discontinue use and consult with your doctor, a massage therapist, or a qualified fitness professional.
Lower Back Release – Lay on the floor, knees bent and feet flat, with the massage ball positioned on your lower back. Use your legs to move your body back and forth and side to side over the ball. Breathe normally and keep your neck and back relaxed. Repeat for 15 to 90 seconds, depending on soreness. You can also perform this exercise standing up by placing the ball between you and a wall.
Upper Back Release – Perform this exercise the same way you would for the lower back release, except position the ball on your upper back. You can vary the exercise by placing your arms above your head and it can also be done standing up against a wall.
Suboccipital (neck muscles) Release – Lay on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat. Position the massage ball under your neck. Move your head and shoulders back and forth and side to side, moving the ball around. Repeat for 15 to 90 seconds, or hold the pressure in one spot as needed.
Deltoid (shoulder) Release – Stand in front of a wall with the massage ball positioned between your shoulder and the wall. Move your shoulder around on the ball to find the trigger points, apply pressure and hold as needed for 15 to 90 seconds. You can do this on both the front and the back of the shoulder.
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